The greenhouses are gone now and
I see many new buildings, but the shed
next to his parents’ house still stands.
Boards are busted, some rotten, all of
them have changed to shades of gray.
A flickering shop light was always on and
there never was a door to you could close.
For years, an engine block caked in oil sat
in the corner. Pick axes, tractor tires, hoses,
disc plates, pipe fittings, welding tanks, boxes
of fertilizer mix, buckets of bolts, nuts, screws,
and nails littered the shed’s grease stained floor.
He told me many times about the move back
to Tennessee with flat bed trucks loaded down
by rhododendrons, nursery supplies, azaleas.
He’d talk about that first season of farming,
fifty acres and a mule, and how at the end of
harvest- the mule died. Then he’d laugh loudly.
The tomatoes were packed by hand, wrapped
in newspapers. They thought about quitting.
I asked if they’d ever knock down the old shed
and he said he couldn’t do that, because we
all need to be reminded of how we got started.